Tech Needs Manufacturing Survey

Why Conduct a Needs Assessment?

Most manufacturers are never aware of various developing technologies that seek product development commercialization assistance. Furthermore, manufacturers rarely position themselves on the basis of their proficiencies in manufacturing processes, which are precisely the attributes that technology-based companies need to locate for successful new technology commercialization. Manufacturers also need to identify what technologies would enable them to improve their competitiveness, either by producing more of their current products at a lower cost with higher profit margins, or to develop new products for new markets.

By conducting a comprehensive manufacturing capabilities and needs assessment, and placing the results in a searchable relational database, it should be much easier to link up new technologies with manufacturers for faster, higher quality product commercialization. The goals of the Tech Needs Manufacturing Survey are to provide both manufacturers and new technology developers with faster new product realization processes, improved business development capabilities, and a more efficient and effective way to leverage existing manufacturing capabilities to address new market opportunities.

Utah Prototype Needs Survey

WestCAMP, through its MEP Utah division, is sponsoring an initial effort to develop the prototype of a manufacturing technology needs assessment to help develop a database containing the capabilities and various needs of Utah manufacturers. MEP Utah's new VIP-ER system will be used to deliver the assessment and put the results into a relational database. The database will eventually be able to be used to match needs with capabilities, opportunities with performance capacities, and help generate new business opportunities for many Utah small manufacturers. It is anticipated the survey will then be able to be used by other states to accomplish the same ends.

Survey Structure

After providing some basic company demographic data, each participant is asked a short series of questions in various categories. Included are items requiring the manufacturer to identify specific processes with which they have significant proficiency and to rate their proficiency on each against competitors nationwide. The processes come from a standardized taxonomy of manufacturing processes, also being refined by a WestCAMP team. A sample survey is available on this website.

Manufacturing Process Taxonomy

WestCAMP is working with several national and international sources to refine a taxonomy of manufacturing processes initially developed in the late 1980's at Brigham Young University. To learn more about the taxonomy project, or to participate in either that project or the overall Manufacturing Needs Survey effort, please contact WestCAMP.

Utah Defense Manufacturing Process Database

A related initiative involves helping the Governor's Office of Economic Development (GOED) create and populate a new Utah Defense Manufacturing Database. An initial version of the UDMD survey is also available on this website. More information about the survey is also available in a .pdf brochure.

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